As I get older it seems that I am continually meeting with one doctor or another for my latest “check-up” appointment. However, as a father and husband, I realize it is especially important for me to keep on top of my health to ensure I can stay with my family for as long as possible. In fact, most of the important things in our lives require regular check-ups and maintenance. Our bodies, our teeth, cars, homes and their various appliances and systems, our finances and even our legal documents all need regular maintenance.
As I meet with clients I am surprised at how often they went through the effort and cost of creating a trust only to “store it and forget it.” If nothing ever changed in life this might be okay, but things tend to change in our lives on a fairly frequent basis. Just think about it, how often do we move from home to home and sometimes to a new state which may have different laws? Have we had new additions to our family? Children, a child’s spouse, or a grandchild may have come into your family and you may likely want to update your plan accordingly. If you’ve gone through a divorce or a marriage, your documents need to be updated. And even if nothing significant has changed in your own life, sometime’s Congress will make changes for us, changes that may affect your documents.
Because of all of this it is important to get regular check-ups on your estate plan. It is critical to make sure your plan is in line with your wishes, your family and new laws. As a minimum you should have your estate plan reviewed every 3 years. If you know of things that have changed in your life or your family's life then you certainly should have it reviewed sooner.
Contributed by MH Cave Creek and Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney West Hunsaker
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This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.